How (And Why) Your Company Should Become Employee Centric

by Alison Divis  |  13 |  Workforce Management , Legion

How (And Why) Your Company Should Become Employee Centric image..


What Is Employee Centricity?


In recent years, there has been an addition to the ever-popular concept of customer centricity, creating a newer, fresher approach to running a company. Companies have been adopting the idea of employee centricity.


Rather than solely focusing on the customer experience, companies have turned their focus to the people who make everything happen: their employees.


How Do Employees Benefit?


One benefit of working for an employee-centric company is that employees are more likely to enjoy working there and be proud of the work they do. In fact, 98 percent of employees at Atlassian are proud to tell others where they work because their company culture is employee centric. A Radio Flyer employee said, “I truly come in each day excited to see what is in store and how we are going to improve ourselves now. No matter what is going on in your personal life, there is support and understanding everywhere you turn.”


Employees also enjoy a greater work-life balance when they work for employee-centric companies. Over a five-year study of companies becoming more employee-centric, 89.4% of employees said that they had a good work-life balance. More employees enjoy a balance between the demands of work and the demands of everything else—schooling, family, commuting, hobbies, etc.—in an employee-centric culture. They have more flexible work options when employers are willing to listen to and consider their requests.


Is flexibility really necessary when running a business? Yes! Read our article to discover why flexibility is so crucial to employees of today’s workforce.


What Are the Benefits to Employers?


Companies that enact an employee-centric culture appeal to talented job-seekers and experience higher employee retention. Ruby Receptionists, a company of virtual receptionists and live phone answering, increased its staff to twice its size and brought in $38.8 million in private equity within the space of a year by exercising employee-centric practices because employees want to work for companies that demonstrate true care for their staff!


In addition to attracting talented employees, employee-centric companies experience lower employee turnover rates. Employee turnover is expensive! For example, it would cost $3,328 to replace a retail employee who is paid $10 per hour, let alone the estimated $8,000 to replace a manager making $40,000 annually. A study by Great Place to Work found that companies with a primary focus on employees had an average yearly voluntary turnover rate of 8 percent, as opposed to 21 percent among companies across the nation. Clearly, costly employee turnover rates are lowered by becoming employee-centric. Why wouldn’t companies want to avoid the costs associated with employee turnover? But how does a company become employee-centric?


Want to know more about how to reduce employee turnover? We did, too.


Implementing Employee Centricity in a Company


To become an employee-centric company, an employee-centric management style must be established. Managers and CEOs alike should try to focus on employees’ individual needs before turning their attention to the professional needs of the company. In order to focus on employees’ needs, frequent engagement surveys can prove useful in discovering what employees really want and need. However, this information is only as useful as management makes it. Feedback must be acted on in order for it to make a difference. Otherwise, what’s the point in asking employees for feedback? It may also prove effective to form committees of employees who regularly provide feedback, since employee concerns will change with time. At Mondo, they call this committee their “people strategy committee.”


Listening to employees includes more than just asking for feedback, however. Employees can also be a source of new ideas and suggestions for the company as a whole, especially when they have worked with a particular organization for a while. Personnel tend to more frequently go above and beyond when they have an opportunity to be creative, as opposed to when they are confined within a parameter of rules. Not only that, but their suggestions can be effective in delivering a better customer experience. After all, employees are the people working directly with the customers in the first place, so they have a greater understanding of what customers want.


Employees are also more likely to go above and beyond when they work for a company they can commit to. A good way to gain commitment is by proposing a mission statement that employees can rally behind. For example, the mission statement of Ikea is: “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” The idea of creating better lives for other people is unifying, supportable, and inspiring. Generally, employees want to be a part of something important; helping improve others’ lives can be defined as such. Gary Kelly, the current CEO of Southwest Airlines, said, “A paycheck is usually enough to get most people to work on time, only an inspiring purpose beyond a paycheck will encourage people to go the extra mile.” Employees need the motivation to go above and beyond what is asked of them; working for a company that holds to a powerful mission statement can serve as that motivation.


Another key factor when implementing employee centricity is remembering that employees are people! They have struggles, needs, desires, aspirations, and other demands in their lives, stretching them this way and that. Businesses should show that they care for their employees. Rather than immediately firing employees who may be yielding lower results, first try to find ways to help them improve. Employee turnover is costly, so it is worth the effort to help current employees better their performance instead of starting from scratch with new employees. "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients,” said Virgin Group’s founder, Richard Branson. It is for this reason that employee-centric companies turn into people-centric companies; employees will want to work harder for a company when they are treated well.


Treating employees well involves recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments. A whopping 79% of employees quit their jobs due to a “lack of appreciation.” When employees are celebrated, they feel appreciated and connected to their company. Some employers boost employee morale by providing rewards and incentives. For example, at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, employees are provided with the option to eat at over 30 restaurants for free. Apple also rewards its employees, but with stock buying options or extra days off rather than with free food.


Even more important than offering perks is being fair to all employees. It may be nice to give them free lunch, but showing that your company is trustworthy and caring goes even further in making employees feel important, needed, and appreciated. Treat all employees with respect and care, and show genuine interest in the personal needs of each employee.


Part of being personal is doing away with the assumption that all employees are happy. Ask employees for feedback. The importance of asking what employees think cannot be emphasized enough. Having exit interviews with employees will also help employers understand what is working well and what can be improved within the company.


By putting employees first, listening to them, rewarding them for their efforts, and helping them get involved, a company can become employee-centric and consequently find more success as a whole.


For more on how to implement employee centricity, check out our article: “Workforce Management Best Practices Every Good Boss Needs to Know.”


People Centricity


In the words of Simon Sinek, organizational consultant, “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order.” When a company puts employees first, the satisfaction of everyone else with that company will soon follow. Undoubtedly, more companies will soon realize why being employee-centric and being people-centric are one and the same.

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